Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Beginnings

Last spring I had a student named Michael in one of my math classes.   He always sat in the back and kept pretty much to himself.  He was a good student; he always did his homework and came to class every day.   Then things started changing.

I noticed he began missing assignments and skipping class.  He started asking me to extend due dates for him.   I took him aside one day and asked him what was going on.   He was very honest with me and went on to tell me many of the things that he wrote down in the story he shared on our North Star Bridge website.   My heart was broken for him and the life he has led.   He was not a quitter, though, and he made that very clear.   I went home that night and talked to my husband Lee, to see if we could help Michael find an apartment and help him with some of the bills that would come with living on his own.  I told Lee that Michael had no parents to care for him, and was being asked to move out of the friend's house he was living in temporarily, after his uncle left him.

Lee did not hesitate to assure me that we would do whatever we could to help this student.
I spoke with Michael and offered our help.   He had a difficult time accepting it, but was motivated enough to stay in school that he was willing to work with us.  The next several weeks were really transforming for me and my family.   Michael had taken the other homeless boys from the house with him to the apartment he moved into.   We took them to Costco and filled their freezer.   We gathered some furniture and household items from our house and took it over for them.   They had nothing to start with, but an empty apartment.

One day, after taking Michael to Costco, Lee looked at me and said, "We should start a non-profit and do this for more students!".   I was so deeply touched that my husband would want to help my students on such a personal and important level!   It was my turn to not hesitate in responding "YES!!" Peter H. Reynolds, our VP and our inspiration, would say, "The Beginning!"

No comments:

Post a Comment